January 17, 2019 | Posted by Elyse Tirrell
January: 'tis the season for resets and resolutions. It's not always easy to make these great new habits stick, especially when it comes to fitness. So how do we stay consistent ALL year round? Here’s what worked for me...
I'm lucky enough to live in a city that's jam-packed with fitness options and I, as often as not with fellow B-Team’er Steph by my side, have taken the time to explore a good number of them. Somewhere in our fitness journey, amongst the classes that had us running and rowing, jumping and dancing, bootcamp'ing and boxing, we each hopped on a bike at Flywheel Sports. Fast-forward to 298 classes later (so says my Flywheel iPhone app), and it's clear to anyone that knows me: I am hooked! You'll find me in class at least three times per week because I just can’t get enough.
In my opinion, the best way to stay consistent in your fitness goals is to find the thing that truly makes you want to get out and GO. Once you do, it will be impossible to skip that workout, becoming instead a regular, valued part of your day. And as for that “thing,” may I suggest... giving Flywheel a try? :)
I’m not the only Flywheel Fan; I know Steph has returned hundreds of times since our first visit as well. Bobby, too, often rides in when in NYC and even has a Fly On-Demand bike at his house. Wanting to gain insight on the world of indoor cycling so that I might better share our collective Flywheel enthusiasm, I sat down with Adam Wasserman, one of Flywheel's top instructors (and one of our all-time faves). Having been with Flywheel for a little over five years, Adam is a Master Instructor who, in addition to his role as one of the company’s four Regional Directors of Talent Development, also teaches on the Flywheel On-Demand at-home platform. Adam is just the person to make you feel inspired to try something new and fantastic this year.
WHAT IS FLYWHEEL ALL ABOUT?
ET: What's the best way to describe the Flywheel method?
AW: We put a lot of emphasis on the interval-based training model that many fitness professionals and brands adopt given the wide array of benefits that result from this particular methodology. We incorporate a multitude of intervals, generally of varying intensity depending mostly on the class format (i.e. Method, Power, or Tempo), that serve to elevate your heart rate for a period of time before recovering the heart rate back down to a less intense zone. Interval training is really all about heart-rate zones and fluctuating the heart rate into elevated zones of intensity followed by enough time in recovery zones to refuel and re-attack the next interval. In time, the heart becomes much more efficient at recovering from higher intensity drills and you’ll often find that it takes less and less time for the heart rate to return to a lower zone. There is an array of benefits to the body when we train this way, including increased endurance and stamina as well as caloric burn during and after the class experience, among many others.
ET: What do you think makes Flywheel stand out from other places that offer indoor cycling classes?
AW: Few people know it, but Flywheel was the very first company to attach metrics to a bike to quantify resistance, rate of speed and effort. Given how technological most things are these days it’s hard to remember a time – certainly for some younger people – where technology wasn’t a part of something. We have put a lot of effort into building out the kind of data that we track and are excited to see a lot of that work come to life with even more new things coming soon! I would also add that our instructors are some of the best, most talented and educated cycling instructors in the marketplace. We spend a lot of time and effort to make our team of coaches smarter and stronger, which in turn creates classes that are extremely thoughtful, totally authentic to the instructor while honoring our brand and ideology.
ET: What are some important and insightful things that a first time Flywheel rider should keep in mind?
AW: Everyone had their first day on a Flywheel bike. In our stadiums, the metrics can be intimidating and for certain people defeating. Try not to let the numbers scare you and instead look at data objectively. The numbers aren’t taunting you. They’re not sticking their tongues out at you and calling you a loser. They’re just letting you know where you’re at that day and ideally, the more you train with us, the more you see a progression of what you’ve been able to do and accomplish over any period of time. Also, eat something and hydrate before class. Interval training tends to decrease blood-sugar levels by the end of class so make sure your body has something it can use before class and hydration to stay alert. After class, we always keep some kind of fruit available to take home with you to help replenish the nutrients you’ve burned through in class.
DON'T BE SHY
ET: What would you say to those who fear and avoid cardio-based exercise to encourage them to try indoor cycling?
AW: Don’t be shy. Cycling is fun and, in our environment, supportively challenging! We don’t want people feeling miserable when they leave class. We want them feeling accomplished, we want them feeling inspired, and we want them to gain a greater understanding about how awesome their bodies are. I think for first-time riders it’s always a really good to remember that once upon a time, your cycling instructor had a first time on the bike, too. Chances are the instructors you take class with have a really inspiring story about how their lives were dramatically changed from the first class they took to the point they decided to become an instructor. Everyone is on some kind of journey with fitness and Day 1 of a new routine is always the most intimidating and also exciting. At Flywheel, we really encourage anyone with a passion to live healthier and feel happier to join us – those are the most common threads that bind our Flyfam together – we each share the desire to simply live healthy and happy lives. Plus, when all is said and done, a strong and healthy heart is what literally keeps us ticking joyfully into our golden years.
ET: Some serious bicyclists believe an indoor cycling class is just not for them. What are your thoughts on that?
AW: To me, it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of training. Cross-training is a very important part of any regimen for serious athletes, so I understand completely when an avid outdoor cyclist opts for a different kind of indoor cardio training. That said, for all athletes and fitness enthusiasts, it’s so important to remember that there are some monumental differences between outdoor and indoor cycling. When riding outside, there are some very key, limiting factors that play a major role in how much output one can exert for purposes of training, for example, terrain, road conditions, general physics, time, etc. Outdoor riding can be extremely challenging but all hills eventually level out and roads inevitably twist and turn which impede any longer duration of speed. When we incorporate indoor training, a strong instructor can smartly put together a comprehensive strategy for interval-based, heart-rate training that ultimately requires our body to do MORE and function at a higher capacity than we’d ever be able to accomplish outside. When we do 3-6 months of effective, indoor interval-based training (elevating the heart rate with smart recoveries that get shorter and shorter in time the more we train) we raise our ceiling of how much we can exert far beyond what we can ever expect to encounter outside (remember: winding roads and natural terrain, you can add pedestrians, traffic, weather to the mix, too). THUS, your increased endurance and stamina that you’ve built through indoor training will keep you going stronger for longer outside!! We have people who PR all the time when they train with us indoors, be it for marathons, century rides, triathlons, you name it. It’s so inspiring to hear the stories of people who train with us and perform better for their big races.
ET: How many classes would you suggest someone commit to indoor cycling before really making up their mind on whether it's the right fit for them?
AW: Depending on the format and style of the class, I’d say a good meter is 3-4 classes. Cycling isn’t for everyone and that’s why so many other options exist out there for incredible cardio-based training. With boutique cycling, it’s about the instructor, the ideology of the brand, the class experience, the music and how you feel after class. If you feel great, you’ll know exactly what to do get yourself back on a bike.
ET: What is it about Flywheel that gets people hooked (like me!) and coming back again and again?
AW: Okay, there’s a few reasons for sure so let’s just get to the real talk first: some of it’s chemical. We elevate your production of feel-good hormones like crazy in our classes and well, we all like feeling good, am I right?! That’s certainly a component of why people feel such a strong attachment to this kind of training. How many times have you or someone you know said something like, “you know, I was having a really crappy day then came to take class – I didn’t even really want to go – but afterwards, I felt so much better!” We could do a whole other post with a doctor of psychology about why fitness is therapeutic, but in short, our goal is always to have you leaving Flywheel feeling on top of the world – probably exhausted and wiped and sweaty and hungry, but also – accomplished. I also believe that the quality and attention that Flywheel instructors put into creating a dynamic, inspiring, challenging and rewarding experience is among the biggest, biggest of pieces. We hold our instructors to a high standard of excellence and we truly believe our training program and advanced education curriculum fundamentally separate and elevate the Flywheel experience for our clients beyond many others. And finally, I’d say the community of riders that we build – and I’ve had the privilege of seeing many of them across the country from Seattle to DC and Philly, LA to Chicago, SF to the Carolinas, and Boston to Miami – the Flywheel community is vast, loyal, connected, inspiring and passionate about their enthusiasm and appreciation for all things Flywheel Sports…and we couldn’t be more grateful for it.
Click here to find out when and where Adam is teaching next. Tell him the B-Team sent you!